Alison Bennington has become the Democratic Unionist Party’s first ever openly LGBT councilor to have been ever elected, if to believe the official results of the election that was held on May 3rd. She received 856 first preference votes, and was elected on the sixth count under the council’s preferential voting system. The crowd erupted with cheers as it was announced that she had won a council seat, which is surprising for such party as DUP, known for its radical opposition of LGBT rights. The count took place at the Valley Leisure Centre, which Bennington used to help run while working as a leisure services manager for the council. The politician says that she is delighted of being elected and she wants to ensure everybody that her private life will stay private and won’t influence her political activity. A DUP spokesperson called her an “excellent candidate” who would make for “an excellent representative.” “The party selects candidates on the basis of merit and we believe in equality of opportunity,” he added.